'The Princess and The Frog (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)'
(Bruno Campos, Jennifer Cody, et al / 3-Disc Blu Ray+DVD / G / (2009) 2010 / Disney)
Overview: Disney celebrates a modern-day classic from the directors of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Discover what really happened after the princess kissed the frog in an inspired twist on the world's most famous kiss. This hilarious adventure leaps off the screen with stunning animation, irresistible music and an unforgettable cast of characters. Enter Princess Tiana's world of talking frogs, singing alligators and lovesick fireflies as she embarks on an incredible journey through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.
Blu Ray+DVD Verdict: Most of the people I have watched this film with, or spoken to afterwards, seem all to be focusing on the wrong viewpoint of this film! The point is not that Tiana is African American (my children don't notice because children don't see "colors"on skin) or that this is not exactly traditional Disney fare. The point is that a modern character faced modern problems and that love and the timeless story of 'The Princess and the Frog' prevailed.
Tiana is a frog for nearly the entirety of the film because that is who she was in life. In fact, she's a frog from the beginning until the last 15 minutes of the film and becomes human long before the surprise ending of the Dr. Facilier's frog spell. True it was Prince Naveen who "transformed" her but Tiana's refusal to see love or friendship was caused by ambition. This ambition wasn't bad or for selfish reasons, but in pursuit of her fathers dream she ignored everything he had tried to teach her.
If you look past the political correctness or the "coloring issues" within the movie you can see this clear as day! My four year old got it and when Tiana goes in search of Naveen to tell him that she's fallen for him, my son declared loudly in the middle of the theater, "he love her mama!". When the Charlotte tries to break the spell without "getting her prince" he was ecstatic and when he saw the impostor prince "marrying" Charlotte he was heartbroken.
The magic is not Disney fare but it fits in perfectly with a cultural immersion of New Orleans. It goes without saying that the animation is GORGEOUS and the music is good too. The gospel number with Mama Odie is by far my favorite!
The secondary characters almost steal the show. Charlotte in all her spoiled glory is actually a big-hearted, cute and hilarious Southern Belle. Mama Odie is lovable and zany and goes around nearly killing her beloved pet snake and smacking "young 'uns" on the arm for their "stupidity". Big Louis is funny and gives the movie a faster pace. Ray is by far my VERY favorite "supporting actor" and will belong in the same pantheon with Jimminy Cricket and Tinker Bell. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it, but Disney's second star to the right will be immortalized forever thanks to Ray.
All in all the modern retelling of the fairy tale is needed for this generation. Times are hard, we have to work harder and our dreams may not come true in the way we thought they would, but LOVE is still worth fighting for. Disney thinks that Love is worth the revival of hand drawn animation, actual orchestra's composing the soundtrack and YEARS working on a modern story board.
This is not the revival of hand drawn animation, it is the revival of the Love story for a generation who forgot how to fall in Love. It's a modern example of what poets, writers and legends have been in pursuit of for centuries. The idea of Love without bounds that can defeat any obstacle. [SMG] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with Special Features of:
Play Movie with “Work in Progress”
Bringing Life to Animation
Filmmaker Intros and Audio Commentary
Magic in the Bayou: The Making of a Princess
The Return to Hand Drawn Animation
The Disney Legacy
Disney’s Newest Princess
The Princess and the Animator
Conjuring the Villain
A Return to the Animated Musical
Disney Family Play
“What Do You See?” Princess Portrait Game
Music & More
“Never Knew I Needed” Music Video by Ne-Yo
Easter Egg: Drawing the Frog"
Featurette: The Return to the Animated Musical: